June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.879.1 - 24.879.10
Machining Experience in a Mechanical Engineering CurriculumCan a student become a good mechanical engineer without ever walking into a machine shop? Theanswer to this question may be that it is possible. However, this paper will make the argument that agood design engineer needs to have understanding and experience that can best be obtained in amachine shop. Better mechanical designs will be created by a designer with the completeunderstanding of how machine components are communicated through mechanical drawings,dimensioned and toleranced, and finally created in a machine shop. Furthermore, this paper willexplore how project builds should be included throughout the curriculum so that every student gets theappropriate exposure to the proper machining experiences to hone their mechanical design skills.Most mechanical engineering programs have three logical places where machining experiences can bevery effective. First, many schools have a freshman design experience that focuses on outcomes such asthe important aspects of teamwork, communication skills, and lifelong learning. Unquestionably theseare very important skills, and they fit well in the freshman year. However, these skills can easily beincorporated into projects that focus on the machining experience giving students the basicunderstanding of machining that will make them better mechanical designers in the future. The basicmachining skills learned in the freshman year can then be applied to a junior level mechanical designcourse that incorporates a design, build, and test project. Students will then be ready to apply designanalysis to create simple devices that they can manufacture in the machine shop. Finally, a capstonecourse will naturally make use of machining skills.Assessing the importance of including machining skills in the mechanical engineering curriculum for allstudents will be substantiated with data from local industries, student and alumni feedback, and byofficials from professional organizations. Specific examples will be given of student project work,industry feedback, and course outcomes. Student retention in mechanical engineering will also beaddressed.
Kiefer, S. F. (2014, June), Machining Experience in a Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22812
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